Chiaroscuro Shoot in a 19th Century Attic

Shooting in a low key environment can produce amazing effects when you have a single source of natural light, especially if the light beams through a window or an opened shaft, enabling you to set the scene or a model into the highlighted area, separating it thus from the background. I learned that some year ago when I first did a photo session with a friend of mine Dora in the attic of her 19th century building in the very centre of Osijek. The old attic as a setting is, of course, fun to shoot. But what drives me the most towards the old attics is the lighting, that is, the opportunity to play with chiaroscuro effects on my photographs. Of course, doing that with no extra lighting (which would ruin the photos anyway) and a crop sensor camera which is not the best choice for low light conditions, will make this kind of a shoot a bit challenging. With the apertures wide or nearly wide open, slow shutter speeds, high ISO settings and generally low dynamic range capabilities of a Canon 650d, it is very difficult to get crisp sharp images with lots of details in highlighted areas. Furthermore, focusing in such conditions is also a drag, and manual focus may be a better option than AF. Although, I did all my photos using AF. I just took several shots more to make sure I have at least one in focus. Yesterday I meat with my friend Ivana, the makeup artist, and our gorgeous friend Maya who agreed to be the model for this shoot to do another session in the 19th century attic of the building where Ivana has her studio. The air was dusty and the air was damp. But the light was beautiful and we managed to get several nice chiaroscuro images with Maya and her props. For this image I managed to stop down the aperture on my Canon 85mm 1.8 USM to f 2.8, which allowed me some sharper result, with the shutter speed of 1/100 and ISO 400. Still the image had to be softened a bit in post processing due to a significant noise, but I am quite happy with the result. Thanks to Ivana and Maya! Until our next shoot.

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2 thoughts on “Chiaroscuro Shoot in a 19th Century Attic

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